Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 8, 2014

Elderly Tonawanda woman facing murder charge

Niagara Gazette — An 83-year-old Town of Tonawanda woman has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing her elderly husband, police said Tuesday.

Police reported to the couple's home, located in the upper apartment at 161 Hawthorne Ave., at 10 p.m. Sunday night following a welfare call from the landlord. When officers arrived, they were greeted by Phyllis Eson, who had blood on her clothes.

"Upon inspecting the residence, patrol officers found Norman deceased on the floor," Capt. Joseph Carosi, the department's spokesman, said. "He had been dead for several hours."

Norman Eson, 89, died from trauma due to blunt force blows to the head, an autopsy revealed. The trauma, as well as his frail condition, led to his death.

Phyllis Eson was arrested and brought to see Town Judge Daniel Cavarello, who ordered her to undergo a forensic evaluation due to her age. She was taken to the Erie County Medical Center for the assessment and will be back in court for an arraignment Monday.

"This will help the prosecutors, defense and court determine if she fully understands the charges being leveled against her, and in addition, the consequences if she is found guilty," Carosi said.

Officers believe that the blood on Phyllis' clothes was her husband's, but testing has not been completed yet. She has no prior criminal record.

Neighbors said the couple, who are both from Toronto, moved in to the home in the spring. Many of the residents who live on the street, which is just down the road from a playground, said they were shocked by the news. 

"It's a pretty quiet street," Frank Konicki, who has lived in his home for 60 years, said. "Sometimes, the police are on the block for a family disturbance, but this is out of the ordinary."

Konicki, as well as many other neighbors, didn't know the couple well. 

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